Senator Robert Ford and Representative Wendell Gilliard, both of Charleston, signed a letter dated September 15 claiming that utility Berkeley Electric Cooperative is discriminating against minorities.
In the letter, Ford claims he has received multiple complaints from Berkeley Electric consumers saying “things have changed.”
Also on the letter is the signature of Berkeley County Representative Joe Jefferson. However, Jefferson says it’s not his.
“I did not. I did not sign the letter. It was amazing to me, first of all, having seen the letter with three signatures on it. I will say this: I do applaud Wendell and Ford for at least looking into a situation that may have merit.” says Jefferson.
The letter lists questions about customer and employee treatment as well as labor practices.
Berkeley Electric Cooperative says it takes Senator Ford’s claims very seriously and will do what they need to to assure a resolution on “any problems which are proven to exist.”
Jefferson says just because he hasn’t signed it, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t.
“If this situation should be brought to my attention, I would be more than happy to look into it. I do things differently here in Berkeley County. I normally like to confront individuals face-to-face, as I would do.” says Jefferson.
And, as for the signature that Jefferson claims is not his–if he didn’t sign it, who did? He says Ford and Gilliard says–
“They’re saying that they signed it, but I think they are both saying they have no idea who signed my name to it. All I’m saying is I didn’t sign the letter.” says Jefferson.
Ford requested a meeting with Berkeley Electric to discuss the issues further.